In early February 2023, a 7.8 magnitude eathquake hit southern Turkey and Northern Syria, causing massive destruction and killing tens of thousands of people. As of March 10, the death toll had surpassed 49,000, with more than 43,000 deaths in Turkey and over 5,500 in Syria, according to the United Nations.
Yasemin, a resident of Adıyaman, Turkey, shared her experience: “I was at home when the earthquake hit. Everything started shaking, I didn’t know what was happening. Then the walls started to crack, and I realized it was an earthquake. I ran outside, and that’s when I saw the destruction. Our house was still standing, but many others had collapsed. It was a scary experience, and I’m still traumatized by it.”
The earthquake destroyed or rendered thousands of buildings unstable, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without shelter in freezing temperatures. Millions of people now in need of aid possibly most of them having lost their homes according to relief agencies.
Beyen, a Syrian refugee living in a camp in the region, spoke about the impact of the earthquake on her community: “We were already struggling to survive, and now this earthquake has made everything even harder. The camp demaged, and we had to move to a new location. Many of our belongings were lost or destroyed, and we’re struggling to find food, water, and shelter. It’s been a difficult time for us.”
The goverment announced the state of emergency for ten cities affected from the earthquake.
The earthquake has left a lasting impact on the region, with survivors struggling to find basic neccessities like food, water, and shelter. Despite the efforts of relief agencies and aid workers, the road to recovery will be a long and difficult one. As the world continues to face natural disasters, it is important to remember the resillience of the human spirit and the power of community in times of crisis.